Union calls for three-day strike at German Amazon warehouses
German trade union Verdi has called on workers at seven Amazon warehouses in Germany to go on a three-day strike, scheduled to overlap with the shopping event Black Friday on Nov. 27.
Germany is Amazon’s biggest market after the U.S., Reuters reports, and Verdi has organized multiple strikes against the company since 2013. Its most recent strike was during “Prime Day,” Amazon’s annual promotional event.
Verdi is demanding better pay and working conditions, arguing that workers were not properly protected against the spread of COVID-19. The organization also argued that Amazon’s excellent sales due to the pandemic were even more reason to give workers better compensation.
The tech giant has seen sales soar this year as in-store shopping has become highly restricted due to the pandemic.
A spokesperson for Amazon said that the company offered “excellent” salaries, benefits and working conditions.
Similar protests took place last year, also organized by Verdi, in which employees from six warehouses walked out during Black Friday.
Last year, a spokesperson for Amazon told the Hill, “These groups are conjuring misinformation to work in their favor, when in fact we already offer the things they claim to be fighting for.”
This week, reports came out that Germany would likely be extending its lockdown into December. The original four-week lockdown appears to have stopped cases from rising, but they have also not begun to decline.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly prepared to announce even stricter COVID-19 restrictions as well as propose about $20 billion in aid to closed businesses.
In France, the company agreed to delay Black Friday sales after the government requested a one-week postponement to help shopkeepers affected by the country’s current national lockdown.